Jun 22, 2009

Quicken Reveals - II: Harms Of Misjudging Grocery Needs

According to my Quicken analysis, Groceries make up 4% of my total expenses. Yeah this is one of the advantages to single-never-married individuals. I believe groceries eat up a huge share of family's total income every week or every month.
  • Some Grocery Shopping Facts
Let me share some of the things I know about grocery shopping. I am certain there are a bevy of experienced people than me so feel free to leave me comments if I am missing any. Whenever I am planning to visit my grocery store I make sure that:
  1. I check my shelves and refrigerator to notice any items I am missing
  2. I check my shelves and refrigerator to see any items that may exhaust over coming week
  3. I make a list of grocery items I need to buy and try not to deviate from my list
  4. I stack-up any coupons I may have
  5. I shop as earliest in a day as possible, I get freshly stocked stuff doing so
  6. I don't rush through the store, it disables my ability to make free and wise decisions
  7. I am not hungry
  • Numbers Say So ...
My monthly gorceries totalled $263 in January 2009. It didn't shock me then but I was stunned when I was going over my Quicken account. While today I know that many families of 4 or 5 manage to survive in $150, I was totally unaware of the facts then. The number stroked $147 in February 2009 and again rose to $245 in March. I hope you see what the problem was here, let me reiterate, these are the grocery expenses of a single person.
  • When I realized The Problem
I was talking to a friends and we were discussing our monthly grocery bills. He was appalled on hearing my bills as he could manage the same within $40 living with three other roommates.

It was then when I realized what was probably going wrong. It struck me that most of the stuff I was buying in a week wasn't being completely consumed by 3 or 4 weeks after that and this wasn't holding me back from restocking week after week.
  • What Did I Do For It?
I strictly followed the 7 ways I mentioned above. Having a look in the fridge and store before leaving for shopping helps a big deal. Another important thing to realize for me was my journey from on-campus job to a full-time job. I was spending more since I started earning more, but then I gave some serious thought to start saving money for future and buy (mostly) based on need than want.
  • Result
Yes this was enough! I spent only $72 in groceries in April 2009 that is whopping 70% drop in my bill followed by May when I spent $78. April gave me a good inspiration and encouragement continuing to ponder over money matters and spending wisely.

If you take a look at my Quicken Grocery Trend above, you can appreciate the difference between the first three months and last three months. Yes, 70% drop it is ;)

Have you ever struggled to bring down your groceries bills? What techniques you use to keep hold of your grocery bills? Please leave me a comment!


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